Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

Our list of confirmed smartwatches coming this year
Upcoming smartwatches 2021
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We've had a bumper year for wearable tech – and 2021 looks to be even bigger for upcoming smartwatches.

The focus in the early part of 2020 will be on budget smartwatches, as the quality of sub-£100 devices improves. That's until the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Samsung look to refresh their line-ups in the second half of the year.

This affordable arms race is being driven by the same companies that tore up the rulebook for smartphones: the likes of Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, ZTE and Huawei are all the busiest when it comes to new smartwatches.

Read on for our round-up of the upcoming smartwatches we're excited about.

Check our smartwatch reviews

Garmin Lily

ETA: Out now

Garmin Lily

Garmin has launched a new smartwatch, firmly and unapologetically aimed at women.

The Garmin Lily comes with a 34mm case, which makes it Garmin's smallest smartwatch – and one of the daintiest on the market.

The screen is a non-always monochrome LCD which is basic, but the glass has a pattern etched on, which stays visible when the screen dims.

There's no GPS (disappointingly) but you do get the stress tracking, heart rate, Body Battery energy levels, sleep monitoring from the likes of the Venu Sq – and there's workout tracking modes which can take advantage of connected GPS from a paired smartphone.

There's also Garmin's two leading female focused focused features: cycle tracking and pregnancy mode.

It's a good looking, lifestyle health and fitness smartwatch. But women that are avid runners or triathletes will still be much better off with the Fenix 6S or Vivoactive 4S.

Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite

ETA: TBC

Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite

Not only confirmed by Xiaomi, the Mi Watch Lite is now actually listed on the company's global site – so we know this is coming soon. We just don't know how much it will cost.

It features a 1.4-inch, 320 x 320 display and promises up to 9 days in full smartwatch mode and 10 hours of GPS tracking. It looks a little boxy, and we're not expecting a full AMOLED display, with just a color TFT screen mooted.

There's a heart rate monitor, GPS tracking and 11 sports modes with notification support, music controls and weather reports among its smartwatch abilities.

The Mi Band Lite looks like it will land in India first, possibly under the Redmi brand. We'll be expecting a price tag of around $50.

Xiaomi Mi Watch

ETA: TBC

Xiaomi Mi Watch Color Sports Edition

We're still waiting for the full Xiaomi Mi Watch smartwatch to land, after it was released in China back in November.

It weighs in at 32.5g and boasts a 1.39-inch AMOLED display, with a 454 x 454 resolution.

It’s packed with sensors and has a big focus on sports tracking. You'll find a heart rate sensor and GPS, which enable you to track activities with 117 sports profiles.

As you'd expect it also packs in SpO2 monitoring too.

It uses a custom OS, not the MIUI operating system, which was based on Wear OS. That means less chance of usable third-party apps, but you are getting a 16-day battery life.

Despite waiting for a global release date, we do have a price. It seems the Xiaomi Mi Watch is set to cost $99 when it eventually makes it to the US. That puts it on par with the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini, and looks extremely competitive given the specs – just as you'd expect a Xiaomi smartwatch to be.

Wyze Watch

ETA: February 2021

Wyze Watch

After the US-based company better known for its smart home gear launched a fitness band, we are now getting a Wyze smartwatch and it's a serious budget offering.

The $20 Wyze Watch comes in 44mm and 47mm size options with the smaller Watch packing a 1.4-inch LCD display and the larger option including a 1.75-inch screen.

Features-wise, you can expect daily activity tracking at the top of the list including sleep monitoring. It also finds room for a heart rate monitor and SpO2 to measure blood oxygen levels. It will also offer shortcuts to other Wyze devices, though unlike its Band there's no Amazon Alexa on board.

That's all wrapped up in a square design that carries a water resistant level that makes it only suitable for the odd splash of water, and certainly no swimming action.

It's up for pre-order in the US, with no details as yet if Wyze has plans to launch its watches in other countries and territories.

ZTE Watch Live

ETA: On sale in China now / Global TBC

ZTE Watch Live

The ZTE Watch Live sees a return to smartwatches for a company that dabbled in Wear OS and is now joining the likes of Xiaomi and Mobvoi's TicWatch GTX in serving up a smartwatch that's much kinder on your bank balance.

The square Watch Live packs in a 1.3-inch 240 x 240 TFT screen, which doesn't sound all that impressive. It does find room for the a heart rate monitor and an SpO2 sensor to take blood oxygen measurements.

There's the presence of 12 sports tracking profiles and there's the promise of anywhere up to 21 days of battery life, which gives it pretty impressive staying power on paper. You can also expect smartwatch staples like notification support, incoming call alerts and weather forecasts.

Priced at 249 yuan, that puts it around $38 and that's pretty cheap for a smartwatch. We'll be intrigued to see if this one makes it out of China sometime in 2021.

Zepp Z Titanium with ECG

ETA: On sale in China now / Global TBC

Zepp Z Titanium with ECG

Huami, which also makes the Amazfit brand watches, launched its Zepp E Square and Zepp E Circle watches and followed up with the more luxury-looking Zepp Z in November, which we are currently testing.

It's since announced a Zepp Z model in China that includes a desirable feature in the way of an ECG sensor. That means it matches the likes of Fitbit, Apple, Samsung and Huawei in offering medical grade-style heart rate readings with the view of detecting abnormalities in the heart among other more serious heart health insights.

Like its ECG-packing rivals, it's only available in China right now, so it remains to be seen whether it will launch elsewhere as it'll need to wrap up the appropriate regulatory approval to set the feature live.

ECG aside, it offers all the same features as the Zepp Z model available outside of China. That includes Huami’s BioTracker 2 PPG module to deliver optical based heart-rate monitoring, SpO2 tracking and stress detection wrapped up in classic watch styling, now with a fancier titanium alloy.

Huawei Watch GT 2 Porsche Design

ETA: On sale outside US now / US TBC

Huawei Watch GT 2 Porsche Design

The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT 2 is available to order now for an eye-popping £599 (US pricing still TBC).

The second smartwatch collaboration between the two brands, the Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT 2 looks to be a mashup of last year's GT 2 and the newer GT 2 Pro.

As per the GT 2 Pro it boasts a sapphire glass display, titanium casing and a ceramic back. Where it differs, slightly, is that it features a quick fit adjustable titanium link strap, which has been polished with a rigorous sandblasting process for that matte finish.

On the smartwatch front you'll get an impressive two-week long battery life, fitness tracking from more than 100 workout modes, Huawei TruSeen 4.0+ heart rate monitoring technology and comprehensive health monitoring – think stress levels, sleep quality and SpO2 levels.

TicWatch Pro 3 LTE

ETA: On sale in Europe / US TBC

TicWatch Pro 3 LTE

The TicWatch Pro 3 launched last year and proved to be one of the standout Wear OS smartwatches of 2020. Now Mobvoi is making its classic-look watch more desirable by adding LTE connectivity.

That extra connectivity support means you'll be able to do things like send messages, access Google Assistant, take calls or download apps from the Play Store without being tethered to your phone.

Along with those added LTE powers, you're getting the same 1.4-inch 454 x 454 AMOLED display found on the standard Pro 3 along with features like built-in GPS, an SpO2 sensor and the best that Mobvoi has to offer on the software and app front combined with Wear OS.

In the UK, Germany and Spain, you'll need to be on the Vodafone network to use it to its full LTE capability, with no news on a US carrier as yet.

Realme Watch 2

ETA: TBC

Realme Watch 2

The original Realme Watch launched in 2020

Leaks have suggested a Realme Watch 2 could be about to drop, as the company looks to update its budget smartwatch.

The Realme Watch launched for $50 back in early 2020, and it’s been spotted at the FCC with a 1.4-inch 320x320 TFT display that should offer a boost in quality. Elsewhere, the Realme Watch 2 could sport SpO2 and heart rate.

It seems like a decent visual upgrade over last year’s model, offering improved screen clarity and performance – and we’re expecting the same super-low price tag.

Realme Watch S Pro

ETA: Out now

Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

The Realme Watch S Pro was unveiled at the end of 2020, offering a round-faced design and a 454 x 454 resolution, which equates to an impressive 326ppi count. Brightness is touted as 450nits.

Battery life is 14 days from just a two-hour charge, and the Watch S Pro is rated at 5ATM, so you will be able to take it swimming.

Talking of swimming, that's one of the 15 sports modes on offer from the Pro. There's also the likes of running, cycling, cricket, spinning, rowing, yoga and weight training.

And the Watch S Pro also boasts dedicated GPS and an optical heart rate sensor, which can continuously measure heart rate, show you your resting heart rate and measure effort levels during workouts.

That sensor can also be used to take blood oxygen measurements for another glimpse into your fitness levels.

OnePlus Watch

ETA: Q2 2020

OnePlus Watch

The OnePlus Watch is happening – we know that much. But everything else about this long-awaited device is TBC.

It’s likely to run Wear OS, after the OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed the company was assisting Google with improving the smartwatch OS. Lau also said a focus of Wear OS improvements was interoperability, so there could be extra features for OnePlus TV or smartphone users debuting.

Rumors also point to two versions landing, with multiple model numbers spotted at the BIS – which is India’s tech regulator.

That might mean we see a launch in India before the rest of the world.

Of course, two versions could point to an LTE variant. Or perhaps a more affordable version for a specific market.

Amazfit GTS 2e and GTS 2 Mini

ETA: Now

Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

Amazfit has been busy this year already, announcing new members of its GTS smartwatch family.

The Amazfit GTS 2 (square) and GTR 2 (round) launched in 2020, and they've now been joined by the Amazfit GTS 2e and GTE 2e. There’s a modest downgrade in case and screen technology and some advanced calling and voice assistant features are canned. But it will retail for £119.99 and has double the battery life.

It’s also worth mentioning that the GTS 2 Mini is also rolling out across Western markets. This smaller, thinner and lighter version of the GTS 2 also makes the same savings as the GTS 2e, but there’s no battery life boost. However, it’s priced at £79.99, and impressed in our review.